MGI Tech (MGI), a subsidiary of BGI Group, and Centre for Translational Microbiome Research (CTMR) at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm today announced a strategy collaboration in microbiome research and initiated the 10,000 Metagenomics Project as phase one project. The joint-research project is leading by Professor Lars Engstrand and Professor Mathias Uhlén, supporting by Karolinska Institutet and Ferring Pharmaceuticals, using MGI’s DNBSEQ technology to generate high quality shotgun metagenomics data from one of the largest microbiome biobanks. The collaboration will form a solid foundation for understanding the contribution of the microbiome to normal physiology and pathophysiology, and opens opportunities for development of novel therapies to address gastroenterology, cancer, reproductive health and neonatology.
The human microbiome, in contrast, is much more easily changed through simple means such as healthful probiotic cultures, bacteriotherapy and other lifestyle interventions. Up to 20 percent of the small molecules in our bloodstream appear to be synthesized by microbes. The microbiome thus may provide some of the most important medical breakthroughs of our era e.g. the human microbiome may be as important to our health as the human genome. The long-term objective of CTMR is to identify and characterize factors (both microbial and host related) that determine or modify the excess risk of disease outcome e.g. to determine the relationship between human health and changes in our gut microbiome. “We have implemented the 16S sequencing approach in a high-throughput NGS format, but we are now moving this research forward by upgrading to shotgun metagenomics sequencing with MGI’s sequencing system and pipelines. We have benchmarked MGI’s DNBSEQTM technology with other technologies, and we are excited with the quality of MGI’s platform, and this is exactly what we need,” said Professor Lars Engstrand.
Mr. Duncan Yu, President of MGI, said, “MGI’s advanced technology enables high-throughput next generation sequencing to support life science research, medicine and healthcare. We are delighted to collaborate with Karolinska Institutet CTMR to have a deep understanding of microbiome’s contribution in human health. We expect our joint efforts could yield more achievements to significantly promote the approach of microbiome in precision medicine.”